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February 15, 2017 9:55 AM, EST

9% of US Bridges Structurally Deficient, Report Shows

Matt Zaske/Flickr

Nearly 56,000 bridges in 2016 were deemed structurally deficient, an analysis by the group representing the country’s road builders determined in a report unveiled Feb. 15.

Overall 9% of bridges are in need of significant repairs, according to a review of U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2016 National Bridge Inventory data by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. For 2015, 10% of bridges were deemed deficient, which does not mean they’re unsafe.

The states with the most structurally deficient bridges were Iowa with 4,968, Pennsylvania with 4,506, Oklahoma with 3,460, Missouri with 3,195, and Nebraska with 2,361.

The states with the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges were Rhode Island at 24.9%, Iowa at 20.5%, Pennsylvania at 19.8%, South Dakota at 19.6%, and West Virginia at 17.3%.

Moreover, approximately 1,900 bridges along the Interstate Highway System are structurally deficient. Also, state transportation departments identified thousands of bridges that need significant reconstruction.

“America’s highway network is woefully underperforming. It is outdated, overused, underfunded and in desperate need of modernization,” said Alison Premo Black, ARTBA’s chief economist who led the analysis. “State and local transportation departments haven’t been provided the resources to keep pace with the nation’s bridge needs.”